If you have been charged with drunk or drugged driving with a child in the car, please read on, then contact our knowledgable DUI attorney George A. Heym, Esq. to learn what the penalties are for a DUI with a child passenger in Pennsylvania.
What are the penalties for a DUI with a child passenger in Pennsylvania?
Section 3803(b)(5) of the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Code provides that an individual who commits a 1st or 2nd DUI offense where a minor under the age of 18 is a passenger commits a 1st-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 5 years in jail and a $10,000 fine. Having a minor under the age of 14 in the vehicle during a DUI comes with particular consequences. Even on a first offense, this makes the driver statutorily ineligible for the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program. Furthermore, even on a first offense (all three tiers) the offense is graded as a misdemeanor of the first degree and carries an 18-month driver’s license suspension.
Can I be charged for child endangerment for a DUI with a child passenger in Pennsylvania?
In short, yes, you can be charged for child endangerment for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs if there is a child passenger. This is because, under Pennsylvania law, child endangerment is defined as exposing a child to danger, pain or undue suffering by willfully allowing a minor to be injured or by willfully causing or allowing a minor to be in any dangerous situation. This statute applies to a parent, guardian or other person supervising the welfare of a child under the age of 18. Furthermore, a person that employs or supervises such a person, commits an offense if he or she knowingly endangers the welfare of the child by violating a duty of care, protection or support.
How do you beat a DUI with a child passenger charge in Pennsylvania?
The best strategy to avoid a license suspension is to hire a qualified and experienced Allegheny County DUI lawyer to successfully fight your charges. Many counties in Pennsylvania have a program for certain first-time offenders called Accelerated Rehabilitated Disposition. Such an expert legal representative should argue the following:
- Your traffic stop was unlawful
- The arresting officer drew incorrect inferences from your odor, slurred speech, bloodshot or glassy eyes, fumbling actions, disheveled appearance or unsteady gait
- There is no proof that you drove, operated or exercised physical control over the movement of a vehicle
- The prosecutor has insufficient proof of impairment
- The field sobriety tests were flawed
- The testing equipment was improperly calibrated or malfunctioning
- The officers had no probable cause
There are a number of innocent explanations or interpretations for your alleged misconduct. The trouble is articulating those explanations properly. Let someone well-versed in the law fight for you and your future.
Contact Our Pittsburgh DUI Lawyer
The Law Office of George Heym focuses exclusively on DUI defense. George Heym is a former Allegheny County DUI prosecutor with an understanding of both sides of a DUI case, notable litigation experience, and relationships with local courts. Contact our firm to fight for your rights.